There comes a time when you really go into action mode after you have planned your move. That’s when you are encountered with a burning question that you never even anticipated would arise. You realize that everyone advised you to get quotes from more than 3 companies before you choose to hire one. But no one even mentioned that there are two types of moving companies and you will first have to decide which type of company you need for your move!
A move is full of surprises, you can never predict what situations might come up! You need to be on your toes constantly and make decisions left and right. The first thing you need to decide on is whether you should hire a moving broker or a moving carrier. Everyone might not know the difference between the two types but that’s where we come in! Let us tell you what you are exactly getting into when you hire each type of company.
What is a Moving Broker Company?
The one thing that sets a moving broker apart from a moving carrier is that these companies do not have their own staff or a set of equipment to carry out your move. Moving brokers are essentially middlemen, they take note of what kind of services you need, and then assign you a third-party company that will carry out your move. Broker companies function by maintaining a large network of moving carriers who they can assign to their clients.
Let us make this simpler for you. Think of moving brokers as event management companies. Whenever you need to plan an event (a wedding, for instance), you just have to let them know about your needs. They will then approach different vendors (flowers, catering, venues, etc.) and bring your whole event together.
Similarly, moving brokers will take note of what service you need. For instance, you might need a combination of packing services, car shipping services, and storage services. They will then search for carriers that will offer you these services at competitive prices. You can then choose to hire these carriers and in this way, a moving broker helps you to go through your entire move.
What is a Moving Carrier Company?
A moving carrier company owns its own fleet of trucks, moving-related equipment, warehouses, and in-house moving staff. Each company offers a range of services. However, you cannot expect to find all sorts of moving-related services with each carrier company. These companies are also expected to be registered with the FMCSA and accredited by different organizations like the BBB and the AMSA.
When you hire a carrier company, you deal directly with the company that is doing your work. There is a lot of transparency and accountability in this case. Moreover, these companies generally have their own locations in different parts of the country.
When you opt to go for a moving carrier company, you are generally expected to conduct a bit more research. This is so because different companies offer different kinds of services. Based on the quotes and reviews received by these companies, you can then choose a company that seems perfect for you.
Also See: List of Best Apartment Moving Companies
Can a Company be Both Broker and Carrier?
The boundary that separates broker companies from carrier companies is quite faint in today’s times. As a result of this, there are several reputable companies like the International Van Lines that function as brokers as well as carriers.
Reasons to Choose a Moving Broker
There are plenty of benefits to hiring a moving broker. Have a look at the reasons to choose a moving broker and decide whether this is the smart choice for you.
1.They Make Your Life Easier
The main reason why anyone would prefer going for a moving broker is that these companies make your job of choosing an appropriate moving company easier and convenient. Reputable brokers are associated with a large network of well-established carriers. These brokers often offer you several options for each service you need.
You will find the quotes offered by different companies in the same place. Similarly, the brokers will also show you the reviews by each of their carrier companies. Brokers save you a lot of headaches as you won’t have to approach a variety of companies personally. The broker company will arrange the logistics for you.
2. One-Stop Shop
You will realize that most carrier companies offer a limited array of services. For instance, if you need packing services, loading services, and car shipping services; it is possible that the same company might not be able to provide you all of these services. In this case, you will have to approach different companies to get your job done. Fortunately, a moving broker makes everything available in one place. You can rest assured that you can find whatever type of service you need with a moving broker.
3. Competitive Pricing Eventually Saves you Money
The broker company takes it upon itself to negotiate and get the best deals for you. To add to that, each carrier company associated with the broker wants you to be their customer. Because of this competition between various companies, you will find moving services at low prices.
These companies follow a price matching policy which gives you the benefit of spending less on the move. You can also take advantage of the several discounts offered by the carrier companies. If a carrier company raises the prices at the last moment, a good broker will get you out of this situation by threatening to stop sending moving jobs to the rogue company.
4. Wide Availability
A single carrier company can have only so many locations. On the other hand, moving brokers work with a wide network of carriers. This means that irrespective of where you are located, a broker will succeed in finding a carrier that operates in your area. Brokers cover rural and remote areas and ensure that their customers can have access to all kinds of moving services that they might need.
5. Moves Aren’t Cancelled
If the carrier company assigned to you cancels your reservation for whatever reason, you most probably won’t have to push your move forward. Brokers are connected to multiple carrier companies and they can send a new company your way to provide you with the necessary services (even if it is very last minute).
Things to Consider Before Hiring a Moving Broker
You can indeed benefit a lot by hiring moving brokers. But it is also not wrong when someone says that brokers can cause you more hassle. We say this because there is a possibility that you might hire a broker who is planning to scam you. Have a look at the things you should be careful about when you hire a moving broker.
1. Sudden Rise in Prices
A lot of rogue brokers will attract customers by showing low prices on their websites. However, the carrier companies assigned to you will suddenly raise the prices on the day of your move and the broker won’t stand by you. To avoid this situation, always insist on getting a binding written estimate from your broker. If you do this, the company won’t be able to raise the prices at the last moment.
2. Room or Miscommunication
When you hire a broker, you aren’t communicating with the carrier company directly. Say that you have some special requests (concerning how you want a particular item to be packed and transported), you will have to convey them to the broker. Everyone knows that too many cooks spoil the broth. If the broker doesn’t convey your instruction to the carrier, you will find yourself stuck in an undesirable situation.
3. Playing the Blame Game
If a problem occurs during the move, you will most likely blame the carrier. The carrier will then blame the broker and the broker in turn will blame the carrier. The blame will keep going in circles and eventually no one will take responsibility for the issue faced by you.
4. Holding your Belonging Hostage
Some brokers are just out there looking for gullible customers to scam. Once you hire them, they will pick up all your belongings from your house. They will then hold these belongings hostage and demand that you pay a ridiculous amount of money to get your stuff back. In order to avoid becoming a victim of these scams, always check whether your broker company is licensed, i.e., whether it is registered with the FMCSA.
Reasons to Choose a Moving Carrier Company
Just like there are plenty of reasons to go for a broker, hiring carrier companies also comes with its own set of benefits. Have a look at the advantages of hiring a carrier company.
1. Uniformity in Services
When you directly hire a carrier, whoever you interact with, be it customer service reps, truck drivers, laborers, in-home estimators, etc., all belong to one and the same company. Everyone remains on the same page and the chances of miscommunication are drastically reduced.
Similarly, you can expect to find the quality of the services consistent. This means that if their packing services are great, you can expect their loading services to be great as well. Moving with a single carrier company is less of a hassle and provides you with a consistent experience.
2. Specialization is Some Types of Services
You probably already know that you won’t find every type of service with all carrier companies. So, it is advisable to hire a company that provides you with all the services you need. However, you should also realize that if a company offers a limited range of services, it is mostly because they specialize in those specific services. This automatically translates to the fact that you will most probably receive really high-quality services.
3. No Middlemen Involved
Hiring a carrier company directly means that there are no middlemen involved. If something goes wrong from the mover’s side, the carrier company will have to take clear accountability and compensate you for your loss. A good carrier company (it should be registered with the FMCSA) will help you with your difficulties and take responsibility if they are at fault. There is no room for the blame game in this scenario.
4. Price Matching
Many people believe that hiring a carrier company directly is expensive as opposed to hiring a moving broker. But you should believe us when we say that you are wrong here and you can totally avail of the services offered by carrier companies at budget-friendly prices. These companies always look forward to widening their customer base because of which they offer price matching policies.
The initial price they quote might seem to be a little bit high. However, you can score a sweet deal and loads of discount offers when you hire this type of company. Because of this, you can certainly expect the final price of your move to be much lower than the agreed-upon quote.
See Also: Best Moving Deals and Discounts
Things to Consider Before Hiring a Moving Company
Nothing is perfect. Like there are some benefits of hiring a moving carrier company, there are several things to consider before you make a choice to approach a carrier company directly.
1. Do It Yourself
If you decide to skip the brokers and find carrier companies for yourself, you should know that you will have to spend quite some time researching different companies. A broker presents you with a comparison chart (in terms of quotes, reviews, etc.), whereas, you have to create your own comparison chart in this scenario. Completely eliminating the middleman might make the task of hiring a company tedious.
2. Limited availability
Don’t expect to find the locations of each and every company in every corner of the country. You might set your heart on one company just to realize at the end moment that the company locations aren’t available in your area. Although established carrier companies have several locations scattered across the nation, you might have a tough time scouring for locations especially if you stay in remote, rural areas.
3. A Limited Number of Services
As it is clear by now, all carrier companies won’t have each and every type of service available with them. Don’t get us wrong here, we are not saying that each company provides only one kind of service. But in a rare scenario, the combination of services you need might not be available with the carrier companies that have a location near your house.
In this case, you will have to hire one carrier company for one service and another company for the other service. For this, you will again have to research and shortlist companies for each kind of service that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best moving company for long-distance?
There are several companies in the business that will provide you with commendable services for your long-distance moves. Here is a list of the ones that stand out and are the best in the business.
● International Van Lines
● American Van Lines
● North American Van Lines
● Allied Van Lines
What is the most affordable moving company?
Your budget is always a matter of concern when you are going for the move. You ideally want to hire a company that provides you with the best services at the lowest prices. Here is a list of the most affordable companies in the business right now.
● Interstate Moving and Relocation Group INC.
● Colonial Van Lines
● American Van Lines
● Moving Squad
● International Van Lines
● National Moving Group
● Two Men And a Truck
There are certain pros and cons of choosing each type of company and why wouldn’t there be? Nothing is perfect and you have to choose your company wisely. The type of company that is perfect for your move solely depends on your unique needs. So, all you have to do is examine which option works for you, whether the pros outweigh the cons and what suits you the best. Regardless of your choice, don’t forget to check up on the credibility of the company on the website of FMCSA and BBB. Hope that this article helps you to make a quick decision easily.